By David Tomas, on 02 March 2021
Generating leads is a crucial step in any inbound marketing strategy. It’s only the beginning, however, in nurturing leads into paying customers. And that process requires tracking and guiding your leads each step of the way.
In this post we’ll cover techniques and tools to help you track your leads through the inbound journey and ultimately towards driving more sales.
Tracking Leads with Lead Scoring and Lead Nurturing
For organizing our lead tracking process you want to focus on two specific marketing techniques: lead scoring and lead nurturing.
Lead scoring involves assigning a numerical or other value to each lead that’s been generated. These scores indicate what stage a lead is in at any given time, and what actions we need to take accordingly.
Lead scores are defined by an algorithm which gauges the lead’s level of interest and interaction with a brand. Algorithms should be created based on indicators you decide are important for your business. How well do they line up with your buyer persona? Perhaps this information is gathered through a form or other data collected from their actions on various channels.
Based on this data and the score our algorithm gives them, we can organize these leads into different segments:
- Unqualified Leads: These users are not taking actions that show interest in what we offer. The likelihood of them becoming paying customers is very low. We can probably rule them out altogether and focus on more promising users.
- Marketing Qualified Leads: They have expressed interest in our products or services but are not at the stage of being ready to make a purchase. This group can be added to our lead database and we can expose them to more marketing content, nurturing them to complete a purchase at some point.
- Qualified Leads for Sales: This group of users have displayed behavior that indicates a strong intent to buy. So an offer is made to get them to convert. At this stage these leads are ready to work with the sales department.
Nurturing leads consists of activities that prepare and guide users along the buyer journey. This begins with a lead being added to our database, on through making a purchase and beyond.
About half of the leads within a database aren’t ready to make a purchase and need multiple exposures before making a decision. The lead nurturing process involves a series of premeditated marketing communications that direct leads towards conversion. There are multiple techniques for achieving this:
- Automated Emails: Depending on user behaviors, a series of automated email communications is sent to leads. These can be welcome emails, reminders, special offers, etc. They are a natural progression that keeps the conversation going between brand and user.
- Newsletters: Regular updates about brand news, developments, products and more. This ensures we’re keeping our brand in front of our leads and maintaining their interest.
- Retargeting: Displaying personalized ads to users who have already browsed our website or have been in contact. These can be in the form of display ads, social ads and other follow up marketing communications. Retargeting works especially well for users who have abandoned carts and simply need a reminder to finish the buying process.
5 Keys to Effectively Following Up on Leads
1) Quick Response
Shoppers expect to get what they want more or less immediately. Whether it’s more information, same day shipping or a response from a brand, consumers want it now. A slow response can drive even the most eager lead in the arms of competitors.
Managing communications, especially if we’re generating a large number of leads, needs to be as automated as possible. Proper planning and set up of communications processes is essential to making sure leads aren’t lost because of unresponsive practices.
2) Data Control
With so many platforms and customer touchpoints, a mass of data is being created each and every day. In this omnichannel marketing environment it can be extremely difficult for brands to keep up with and organize this data. It’s common to end up with duplicates and poor quality data overall.
Knowing what stage of the inbound marketing process a lead is in is absolutely imperative. To make sure we’re not missing out on opportunities you’ll want to use the right tool. Which in this case is a CRM solution which helps organize and manage leads. Hubspot’s free CRM is an excellent starting point.
Customized advertising experiences are the new norm. With all of the data and tools we have at our disposal we can create unique messages and deliver them at the optimal time. When it comes to tracking leads, we need to be very clear on our buyer persona and how best to fill their needs. Based on user actions and behaviors, we can then adjust our messaging to fit their position in the buying process.
4) Marketing Automation
In order to manage and organize a high number of leads in real-time you need to have the right tools at your disposal. Marketing automation tools are an integral part of lead tracking and lead conversion as they allow you to put many actions on auto-pilot once set up. These can include free email marketing management managers all the way to full service multi-channel marketing software.
We recommend doing thorough research on the various marketing automation tools available. There are plenty of options to fit your objectives, budget and project size.
5) Measurement and Analysis
How do you know if your marketing strategy is on track? Having clearly defined lead tracking KPIs allows you to measure and analyze results as you go. By breaking down your data you can gain deeper insight into what’s working and what’s not. Regular meetings with your team discussing these performance indicators will keep you on course and lead you closer towards realizing your marketing objectives.
Tracking leads and driving sales is a core element of any marketing strategy. Yet it’s all too easy to lose track of users as they move through your inbound funnel. Staying organized with lead tracking, and utilizing the right automation tools for personalization and automation will ensure you maximize returns on your efforts.